Chapter 158:

Gwyn’s Limit

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

The building under construction was best described as a parking garage. Each floor was made of dense and thick concrete, and ramps swirled around for vehakuls to climb up. Wide, round columns were placed in a grid pattern to hold the heavy structure up.

The building would be used as a special office space upon its completion. Nun, and some of the other nations on Resh, had developed square, blocky vehakuls which functioned as a workspace and house which artists and freelancers would drive around to do various jobs within the nation. Buildings like the one by the fountain served as a place for people to move in and out while doing jobs.

Due to the difference in use, the parking garage-like structure had painted white floors and walls and better lighting than the earth counterpart.

Gwyn found the whole structure odd when comparing it to his past experiences but didn’t dwell for too long as Nighthawk was hot on his heels. From what the Nonpareil could guess, Rheba had crashed on the fourth floor of the building.

He stopped by a pillar and liquified the concrete material.

Careful not to damage the structure too much, Mem warned.

“It’s okay; I studied engineering for a while,” said the confident guy who had taken electrical courses and not structural.

He spun to face Nighthawk with the liquified concrete floating around him. The metal form grunted and pulled back a fist as it charged.

“I don’t have a name for this one, but….” Gwyn shouted as he moved the liquid to Nighthawk's feet. The Nonpareil sidestepped as he hardened the concrete into a cinderblock with both of the giant Needaimus’ metal feet contained within.

Nighthawk immediately fell face first into the ground, leaving a significant dent in the painted concrete with its forehead.

Gwyn wasted no time sprinting to the ramp which would take him to the second floor.

Nighthawk shook its head and, with a swift jerk of metal legs, broke free from the concrete block.

Gwyn was running as fast as he could across the second floor. He figured his opponent wouldn’t be held for too long and was hoping to get some distance so he could plan.

“Mem,” do you see any weaknesses with that guy?” Gwyn asked.

Unfortunately… I do not… I’ve never heard of a Needaimus that large… and I shudder to think how it happened.

“So, we’ll have to get creative to beat him then!” Gwyn said with confidence.

We should collect Rheba and flee. Without much information, I don’t even know if we have a teammate with a good counter to him. Mem advised.

“You worry too much! We just need a good plan! What if we encase his whole body in a block?”

I’m not sure it would work or if your compatibility is high enough to accomplish it.

“We won’t know until we try!” Gwyn shouted back.

Behind the Nonpareil's feet, a blue metal hand shot through the thick concrete floor. Nighthawk had misjudged just how fast Gwyn could sprint and narrowly missed catching the heel.

Gwyn quickly increased the gap as the large Needaimus emerged from the concrete floor.

“The people building this place aren’t going to be happy about the damage!” Gwyn shouted without turning to look at his opponent.

You’re one to talk, Mem spoke in a tone that would have been best accompanied with a roll of eyes.

“I was going to fix everything once we beat him!” Gwyn tried to defend himself as he ran up the next ramp to the third floor.

Nighthawk simply jumped in the air and through the next ceiling. The giant metal form appeared in the middle of the room with its arms crossed as Gwyn finished his sprint up the ramp.

He stopped and stared at his opponent with his heavy breath.

“The damage to this building will be nothing compared to what we have planned,” Nighthawk mused in reply to Gwyn’s earlier comment. “Although, you’ll be shattered into too many pieces to see.”

Gwyn smirked.

“We’ll see who sees what comes later… ah!” Gwyn shouted as he messed up making a good comeback. He shook his head and charged at the metal opponent. As the Nonpareil sprinted, he lowered himself to the ground and stretched out his good arm. For his bad arm, he moved it out as much as possible. On either side, Gwyn liquified the concrete and collected it as he ran so that it looked like two waves were rushing with him.

Nighthawk shook its head and held a hand with the palm facing the ceiling. With a gentle wave upwards, Gwyn was thrust into the air. Then, with a gentle wave down, Gwyn was thrown back to the ground.

It seems he can move people up and down with an ability… Mem reported, but Gwyn didn’t listen.

The Nonpareil focused everything he had on landing on the ground smoothly. His foot made contact, and he used it to push forward into a somersault. After his roll, he continued his sprint like nothing had happened. The waves continued to trail next to him through the whole process.

Nighthawk took a step back but didn’t move enough as Gwyn threw both his arms—the good more dramatically than the bad—forward. The liquid waves of concrete surrounded Nighthawk and quickly hardened into a rectangular monolith. Gwyn stopped and leaned against his captured opponent's prison.

“Not bad,” The Nonpareil said through heavy breaths, “Should I call this move Ford or Lucas?”

Partner, I think we ought to get moving and not rest! Mem reported.

“Don’t worry, Mem, he’s trapped now.” Gwyn knocked on the concrete block before heading to the next ramp. His pace remained slow as he tried to catch his breath, but once his energy was restored, he began to sprint again.

He crossed the third floor with no issues and was up to the fourth in no time.

The Bentulousian warrior was unconscious as she lay in the middle of the floor.

“Rheba!” Gwyn shouted as he mustered his last bit of strength to run to her. Seeing his tall friend beaten down filled him with rage. He made a silent plan to take down her opponent next.

Banging softly echoed up from the floors below, but it was unnoticed by Gwyn as he tried to check that Rheba was okay. She still had a steady breath, but he had no idea what else to confirm.

“Rheba, hey Rheba. I took down the big metal guy; you need to wake up so we can help Kako!” Gwyn shouted. He put a hand close to Rheba in preparation to try and shake her but stopped since he wasn’t sure if it would be bad with her injuries.

Gwyn was not paying enough attention as Nighthawks metal form floated from outside the building to the floor Gwyn was on. The metal opponent grabbed onto the wall of the building and propelled itself into the space.

Partner! Mem shouted, but the warning came too late. Gwyn had a metal fist thrust into his stomach. He let out a surprised gasp as he was flung into the air. Nighthawk was above Gwyn before the Nonpareil could hit the ceiling.

The metal Needaimus grabbed Gwyn by the back of the neck, and the two plunged with a sudden great speed to the floor while the Nonpareil was held forward like he was some sort of shield. They hit the smooth concrete floor with enough force to break through it in a violent burst. They only missed hitting the unconscious Rheba by a hair.

Gwyn was stunned as they quickly crossed from the ceiling to the next floor and shattered it as the first had been done. Nighthawk held on tightly, but Gwyn could not react as they smashed the next floor—returning to ground level.

The attack was finally stopped by leaving the Nonpareil in a crater on the first floor.

“It… hurts…” Gwyn managed to say.

Partner! Partner! That attack was way above the standard pain limit threshold. I count… multiple broken bones and contusions. You need to stay awake! Mem shouted in a panic. Gwyn couldn’t reply as Nighthawk grunted and loosened the grip on the Nonpareil’s back.

Gwyn! You can’t lose consciousness now! I think he’s getting ready for another strike! Mem pleaded, but the Nonpareil was out cold.